Three Steps to a Great Communication Strategy
Things have certainly changed, and the “new normal” in the fitness world brought on by COVID-19 should be influencing your communication strategy. The way gyms have been run since their inception is now cause for anxiety among both gym owners and their clients. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to implement a great communication strategy with clients and prospects to ease their anxiety and get them back in the gym. It’s up to gym owners to face differing opinions, fears and anxieties about COVID-19 head on, and address the impact the virus is having on new protocols.
Gyms need to be clear with their clients about the nitty-gritty details on how they are abiding by local guidelines regarding sanitization, capacity and more. We all want to get back to some sense of normalcy, so you can expect clients will be reaching out to their gyms to gauge where they should bring their business.
Are you ready to give them the answers that make them feel comfortable enough to come back? Here are three simple steps you can take to ensure your communication strategy is ready as we see gyms reopening across the country:
Step 1: Be Available
If a client is calling, they likely need help. When someone reaches out to a gym and no one is available, that breaks the sense of trust and reliability. Whether or not you answer a client’s call will have a profound effect on that person’s enthusiasm, loyalty, referrals and repeat business. While this may seem like a no-brainer, statistics show more than 40% of phone calls are missed. Gyms are repeatedly missing out on opportunities to prove how responsive they are, which would show a client they are the place to do business with. Gyms need to have a plan to be available when someone calls the first time, and to respond to emails and texts within a five to 10-minute timeframe. It’s the core of building a valuable client relationship.
Step 2: Be Clear
Gyms need to be clear with their clients about their most up-to-date protocols regarding COVID-19. Try writing out all the communication you want to send first, and work with your team to make it as clear as possible. Clients want to see definite answers about whether or not the gym is open and, if so, a clear plan on how the gym is now being cleaned and sanitized, guidelines regarding face masks, capacity limits, and everything else they’ll need to know to patronize the gym. Being wishy-washy about these things sends the wrong message and breaks a client’s trust, which results in a cancellation or even a prospect going somewhere else. Update your website and social media frequently to ensure accuracy across all of the channels a client can find this information.
Step 3: Execute
You’re available and you have a clear message to send out — you need to get your message out there now. Gyms should set up templates and delivery mechanisms to respond quickly when a client reaches out. A gym should never assume a client knows or understands what is going on. If gyms want their customers to feel safe and keep doing business with them, they need to keep them updated. If a policy changes or hours of operation change, send that out to them immediately and take the time to update across all channels.